Philosophy of Youth Ministry
The youth ministry is primarily a part of the local church. Therefore the youth should be actively serving in the church ministry. This means that the youth group is not a separate
entity with separate objectives. The youth group should reinforce and build on the philosophy of the church. Another key objective of youth ministry involves working to complement what parents are teaching at home (assuming they are believers). The church is responsible to assist
families in the discipling of youth, but the principal responsibility rests on the parents themselves (Deut.6:7; Eph. 6).
The crucial goal of youth ministry should be to assist parents in their role of discipling their teens to demonstrate Christ-likeness. The Bible teaches a faith that is actively working in believers to help them become more like Christ (James 2:14-26). Our Lord gives us the perfect example when He was a young man. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Increasing in wisdom (mentally) and in stature (physically) happens naturally. A youth ministry should focus on developing teens who increase in favor with God (spiritually) and man (socially). The means to accomplishing this maturity in the lives of teens are found in the goals of a youth ministry.
Goals for Youth Ministry
- Spiritual Growth
- Salvation—to see from their testimony and conduct that every teenager has received Christ as their personal Savior. Romans 10:9,10
- Discipleship– to encourage each teen to develop a more intimate knowledge of God through greater knowledge of the Scriptures (2 Pt. 3:18). Parents are tasked by God to be the primary disciplers of their children (Duet. 6). A pastor should come alongside parents to help in their discipleship efforts. Here are three key spiritual disciplines every parent should be striving to develop that will aid in the discipleship process:
- Daily devoting oneself to God
- Habitual Bible study and prayer
- Consistently worshiping in a local church
- Outreach– train each young person to look and pray for opportunities to create relationships in which they can share the gospel.
- Christian Fellowship (“Iron Sharpening Iron” – activities, games, and events allow students opportunities to model and develop Biblical character qualities as they interact with other students and adults in the church.)
A. A teachable, humble, obedient spirit – learning to honor and obey the authorities that God has placed in our lives
B. Responsibility– learning to respect others and their property, working together (carrying one’s own part of the load), cleaning up after oneself, punctuality, etc.
C. Friendship– developing friends by reaching out to others, providing opportunities for transparency in relationships, and cultivating a self-less spirit towards one another.
D. Christ-like character– attempting to develop qualities in the young people that mirror the heart of our Savior.
Youth Group Guidelines
- Appearance: Dress should reflect a heart that seeks to honor Christ. We ask that parents encourage their teens to abide by the guidelines set by the staff for each activity.
- Attitude: Young people should always demonstrate the highest respect for authority. Obedience and submissiveness towards adults will be expected. Teens should always display positive attitudes.
- Acquaintances and Friends: Youth group often functions as a place to develop life-long friends. Teens will be encouraged to incorporate visitors into their friendships. Visitors will always be welcomed and treated as part of the youth group.
- Activities: The purpose of activities is to show students that Christians should have fun together, to allow opportunities for discipleship, and to demonstrate Christ’s love to each other. When we use a facility or are on an activity, the goal is to leave it in better condition than when we arrived.